Jeans Demystified

For the last 4 or 5 years, Craftsy has been my go-to place for learning sewing and crafting. But still, I like to sample someone else’s goodies every now and then. So when I got wind of a new online learning platform, Craft University Online (or CraftU), I had to go there. You know I had to.


This post contains affiliate links

At CraftU, you can choose to follow a class on a schedule to complete a project. Or you can wait for the on-demand version to be released and buy that. Just like with Craftsy, once you buy a class, you have access to it for life. It’s set up like a university class where you can upload your assignments for the teacher to review, but it doesn’t have a forum where students can ask questions and interact with the teacher.

They also offer webinars that you can attend live or purchase on video. These files are downloadable.

A couple of webinars got my attention. I honestly can’t be bothered now to remember which ones they were because OMG! as I found out, a webinar is a seriously ineffective way to teach sewing and drafting skills. The PowerPoint recordings really must go. They were not worth $10 each, so I got my money back for those.

Jeans Demystified

I asked the affiliate manager at CraftU if I could have a class to review. If I am to promote something, I need to test it out first, right? She gave me Jeans Demystified, free of charge. The class included two patterns — one jeans and one pair of slack/dress pants. I downloaded and printed them both, then watched the class.

The Teacher

Meg Healy teaches this class, and it shows right from the introduction that she enjoys what she does. I love Meg’s enthusiasm for her work. She’s a natural teacher. However, and this is strictly a personal preference, I had an issue with her voice. It bears mentioning in case other people have the same aversion. Her vocal fry (aka Kardashian Speak) became almost unbearable after a couple of lessons. For those who can handle that Millennial speech pattern (the one that vibrates the sound at the end of every sentence), she’s a joy to watch teach. She was certainly in her element, but I would have to watch on mute. I decided to overlook the fact that her sewing was sloppy, and focus on the fact that she explained herself well.

The Pattern

The PDF patterns from Burda Style were a hot mess. I know it was not my printer or my print settings because I triple check them before I print that many pages. And I have had no issues with the scores of other PDF patterns I’ve printed. Tiling the pages and matching up the pattern turned out to be an exercise in futility, so I gave up and recycled the paper for both patterns. Too bad I couldn’t recycle my printer toner too.

Print settings on “actual size”

The test square measures up but the pages don’t line up


I eventually bought another pattern from an independent designer. Those pages matched up, at least.

To give CraftU a chance to correct the pattern, I sent an email to my affiliate manager there. What followed was nothing short of an email argument with her telling me that I must have printed wrong. She then printed a copy at her end and scaled it to fit the page. She managed to get her borders to print (notice mine were missing some borders) and she quite proudly showed me that it my error for printing at actual size.

Um, does she know that when you scale PDF patterns, the scale of the pattern pieces gets distorted so you can’t choose a size based on their chart anymore? I’m guessing she either doesn’t sew, or she’s never tried one of these newfangled download-print-and-assemble-it-yourself instant-gratification patterns.

Now anyone who knows me well, knows what an argumentative pain in the rear I can be. And just to teach her not to argue with me, I sent her a screen shot of the pattern instructions that clearly say not to scale the printing. She stopped responding to me after that. Sheesh! What?? 

The Lessons

So back to the class… The lessons were very thorough and I did learn a lot from watching the class. Meg covered techniques for making adjustments to the pattern to create different styles of jeans—from skinnies to bell bottoms. And she took the class step-by-step from the start of construction to the very last decorative detail. The main thing I took away from it, though, is that I’m not ready to start sewing jeans just yet.

Overall, the class gives a good understanding of the jean construction process and makes it accessible to the home sewist. But that is not enough to make it worth $49. Nope!


Marsha Law Sig2

PS. Visit the Canadian Directory of sewing and craft suppliers










  1. That whole experience does not sound fun. I don’t think Craftsy has anything to worry about from them.

  2. I think I’ll stick with Craftsy!

  3. Uggg. So frustrating when the instant gratification patterns don’t line up! When you feel ready to tackle sewing jeans, let me know, I will join you.
    Great review! Keep up the good work!

  4. I’ve only had poor experiences with Burda patterns. I stopped buying them. Hopefully, the class was still helpful with another pattern as a replacement!

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